North Texas Daily

Mean Green gets aggressive early in season opening win

Mean Green gets aggressive early in season opening win

Mean Green gets aggressive early in season opening win
August 22
21:50 2014

Scott Sidway / Staff Writer

The Mean Green soccer team came out firing on all cylinders in their season opener, scoring three times on 30 shots in a 3-0 victory over Texas Southern University.

Sophomore Rachel Holden, the 2013 Conference USA offensive player of the year, picked up where she left off last season, scoring the first goal of the contest in the 14th minute after out-racing Texas Southern goalkeeper Liliana Hernandez to a loose ball.

“It always feels good to get a goal” Holden said.  “There’s always stuff we can work on, always stuff we can do better. But it was fun. It’s a good first game.”

The UNT forwards attacked aggressively throughout the contest, as the team controlled possession for a majority of the game. Hernandez was forced to make many crucial saves to keep the Tigers in contention, including a leaping save on a well-placed shot by freshmen Kaylah Hunter in the final minute of the first half.

Molly Grisham, who entered the game halfway through the first half, scored her second career goal at the 40 minute mark to give the Mean Green a 2-0 lead.

Sophomore forward Marchelle Davis gave the Mean Green a 3-0 lead at the 63rd minute off an assist from junior midfielder Jackie Moreau.

UNT keeper Jackie Kerestine played in her first game in almost a year, missing much of last season after tearing her ACL.  Although she was not tested often due to a strong defensive effort by a new back line, she did not allow a goal on four Texas Southern shots.

“They did really great,” Kerestine said about her new defensive unit.  “You can tell they are kind of new, but they are very good at listening to me and zoning everyone else out, focusing on my voice, and making the corrections as needed.”

This year’s squad consists of 11 new players, including nine freshmen and two transfers.  The team’s depth was tested early, when head coach John Hedlund subbed in seven players at the 22 minute mark.

“I thought overall our backline played well regardless of who I put back there,” Hedlund said.  “I’m interested to see what some of these younger players do on Sunday versus a quality opponent.”

UNT plays their second match of the season on Sunday in Denton, hosting Oregon State at 11 a.m.

Featured image: Sophomore forward Rachel Holden collides with the Texas Southern University goalie. Holden scored the first goal of the game in the first 13 minutes which helped the Mean Green defeat Texas Southern by a score of 3 to 0. Photo by Edward Balusek – Visuals Editor

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